Barcelona sights: Montjuïc

TK, Barcelona
Monthjuïc Hill rises above Barcelona (ramparts of the Castell on the left; domes of the National Art Museum on the right). (Photo by Fabio Alessandro Locati)

The best sights, museums, and monuments on Montjuïc, Barcelona

Montjuïc is the mountainous headland hemming in central Barcelona from the south, rising above the becoming-trendy residential district of Poble Sec just south of the Ciutat Vella's El Raval neighborhood.

Largely ignored for centuries—save as a defensive redoubt upon which to site a castle—Montju´c became a booming building site for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, and again received a sprucing up for the 1992 Olympics.

Today it houses several excellent museums, lovely gardens, a recreated pan-Spanish village, aerial cable cars with views, and that craggy old castle.

Museu Nacional dĺArt de Catalunya, BarcelonaMuseu Nacional dĺArt de Catalunya - In an enormous 1929 palace atop Montju´c hill is the MNAC, one of the worldĺs biggest and best collections of Romanesque art, centered around a series of gorgeous 12th-century frescoes removed from Catalonian churches in the Pyrenees. The late-Medeival art is actually just the highlight. The point of this museum is to catalogue the best of Catalan art from the Romanesque all the way to the 1940s... » more

Joan Mirˇ Foundation, BarcelonaFundació Joan Miró - The world's greatest collection of art by Barcelona native Joan Miró (1893–1983) inhabits this modernist building on Montjuïc hill. The foundation owns a staggering 14,000 works by the modern master of colorful whimsical, often delightfully playful art alongside works by Miró contemporaries (Duchamp, Ernst, Calder, Léger, Moore, Oldenburg, etc.)... » more

Aeri del Port cable car, BarcelonaAeri del Port (Transbordador) - This low-key, 1,292-meter (0.8-mile) thrill ride in a gondola over the harbor of Barcelona from Barceloneta to the Miramar viewpoint halfway up Montju´c Hill offers spectacular views. The busy waterfront is below and all around you. In one direction, all of downtown Barcelona and spreads to either side of La Rambla; in the other direction, the waters of the Mediterranean stretch to the horizon... » more

Poble Espanyol, BarcelonaPoble Espanyol - For the 1929 Worldĺs Fair, Barcelona created a simulated Spanish village high on top of Montju´c, where 117 houses, structures, streets, and squares reproduce Spanish monuments and buildings from over the last 1,000 years. Think of it as an early version of EPCOT, only one focused just on Spain and instead of rides it's filed with craft and artisan workshops, restaurants, and nightclubs... » more

Montju´c Cable Car, BarcelonaTelefŔric de Montju´c - These gondolas, holding eight people each, dangle from a cable and sweep 84.5 metres (277 feet) up and along the Montjuïc hillside offering stellar views over the terraced parks and noble buildings of Montjuïc, and heart of downtown Barcelona and its harbor below. It travels from near the funicular station to Montjuïc Castle... » more

Castillo de Montju´c, BarcelonaCastell de Montju´c - This 18th century castle remains a glowering presence above Barcelona, half a misshappen starŚall triangluar bastions and stony parapetsŚsunk ino the Montju´c hillside 173 meters (568 feet) above the city. In 2010, Montju´c Castle was converted into a space for temporary exhibitions and cultural activities... » more

Tips & Links

How long should I spend in Barcelona?

If you're just passing through, I'd give Barcelona at least two full days—though if you only have one day, here's how to squeeze in the most of Barcelona into just 24 hours.

Barcelona is a lovely place to relax, however, so you might be happier spending 3-4 days.

» Barcelona itineraries

Save with a sightseeing pass

Barcelona has two types of sightseeing/transport passes:

There's a full description of both passes here, but in brief: The only museum covered fully by the Museum Pass that is not also covered by the Barcelona Card is the Museu Picasso (where you get only a 20% discount with the Barcelona Card).

You can also get discounts (usually 10% to 20%) on a wide range of sights, activites, and shows if you have a hop-on/hop-off bus ticket.

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Useful links & resources

SIGHTS

Barcelona tourist info: Barcelonaturisme.com (info office), Guiadelocio.com (events mag); Catalunya.com (regional info), Spain.info

Sightseeing passes: Barcelona Card (20+ sights; transport; discounts), Museum Pass (6 sights)

Tours & activities: Viator.com, ContextTravel.com, UrbanAdventures.com, City-Discovery.com, Intrepidtravel.com, Gadventures.com

LODGING

Hotels: Booking.com, Venere.com, Priceline.comPartner, Hotels.com

B&Bs: Booking.com, Bedandbreakfast.com, Airbnb.com, Venere.com

Apartments: Rentalo.com, Vrbo.com, Booking.com, Airbnb.com, Interhomeusa.com, Homeaway.comhomeaway

Hostels & campgrounds: Hostelbookers.com, Hostelworld.com, Hostelz.com, Booking.com

TRANSPORT

Airfares:



Airports: Aena.es

Trains: Raileurope.com (throughout Europe), Renfe.com (within Spain), Bahn.de (throughout Europe), Seat61.com

Public transport: Barcelona Card (free transport; sightseeing); Search all public transit: mou-te.gencat.cat; Metro/Bus: Tmb.cat; Tram: Trambcn.com; Light rail: Fgc.cat; Taxi: Taxibarcelona.cat

Car rentals: Autoeurope.com, RentalCars.com, Momondo.com, Orbitz.com, Expedia.com, Travelocity.com, Kayak.com

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in September 2013.
All information was accurate at the time.


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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.